5 Commonly Made Mistakes in the Samba Volta (and how to fix them)

How to Dance Samba Volta
Are you doing the Samba Volta and feeling like “OMG. This is the hardest step ever”? To quote MJ: “You are Not Alone…” 🙂
The Samba Volta was one of the most challenging steps FOR ME when I first started learning the samba.
What makes the Voltas challenging, are the leg positions, timing, bounce, and hip rotations. To improve effectively, I challenge you to video yourself before you do this set of Check-ups, then compare yourself to the videos below and see if you are doing more NOPES or YUPS. Any questions, shoot me a comment below!

Mistake #1: Swiveling Back Foot & Twisting Hips

Practice Tips:

​1. Keep the Back ball of foot planted with heel turned forward (i.e.: turnout) and don’t rotate that foot when you cross.
2. Keep your hips pointed more forward and not towards the direction you are traveling.
3. Make your side steps bigger and cross steps smaller.

Mistake #2: Back Heel Down

Practice Tips:

1. Keep your back heel lifted throughout the voltas.
2. Lift your back heel as high as you can while maintaining pressure in ball of foot.

Mistake #3: Knees Wide Open

Practice Tips:

1. Push the back knee into the back of the front leg (behind the front knee)
2. Squeeze your inner thighs together when the feet crosses in front.

Mistake #4: Large Forward/ Cross Step

Practice Tips:

1. Doing a samba volta is kinda like doing a crab walk… i.e.: you are moving sideways.
2. Keep your crossing step just that and not a forward step in direction of travel.
3. Keep your hips facing forward, not in direction of travel.
​4. Straighten your knees when you take a side step.

Mistake #5: Leading With The Wrong Hip Rotation

Samba Volta Practice Tips:

1. Rotate the hip after you cross in front.
2. Hip rotation happens towards the direction of the front leg (i.e.: If left leg crosses in front, rotate your hip towards the left and vice versa.)
3. Keep your knees soft after you cross the legs.
4. Rotate your knees to rotate your hip. (i.e.: if you want your hip to rotate right, circle your knees to the right.)

The Samba volta is certainly not easy.

If they are, everyone would do them correctly. So, be patient with yourself and try working on correcting one technique at a time.  Focused practice is key… work on correcting one dance technique every week. Before you know it, you’ll be a Samba volta -ing butterfly!

Love the Samba? Check out these other Samba Steps!

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